ELLESMERE residents will have a say on whether the town council sells or leases its current home for a new base further up the road, in a move designed to save money.

Ellesmere town councillors have agreed that it would make ‘financial sense’ to vacate the town hall building and move into Fullwood House, in Victoria Street.

However, a spokesman said that any move would require a new owner or tenant to maintain the building for community use, which would save the town council ‘a considerable amount of money’.


This, according to the spokesman, is with potential assets transfers from Shropshire Council which also needs to make savings.

“If we decide to release the building, there is a clause in the freehold that stipulates the building must be kept for community use,” they said.

“The council has a duty of care to its staff and the community so they will endeavour to ensure that there is very little impact on the town hall users when making their decisions.

“The council offices would need to be relocated to a building large enough to accommodate meetings and with enough space for members of the public to attend.

“The ground floor at Fullwood House in Victoria Street is currently being marketed 'to let’.

“All council members have been given the opportunity to view the property and all agree it would make ideal offices.

“It is believed that Shropshire Council may ask town and parish councils to consider taking on additional assets and services in their areas.

“With this in mind members have been looking at where they too can make savings to enable them to provide the services that the community needs.”

Ellesmere Town Hall, in council ownership since 2005, is hired out for a range of activities and typically costs around £56,000 a year to run, which will rise this year because of roof repairs.

The spokesman added: “There are restrictions placed upon us with regards to reclaiming VAT on the town hall and applying for grant funding which makes the maintenance of the building a struggle to upkeep.

“These restrictions would not apply if the building was being run by a different organisation.

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“As a council we are bound by strict financial regulations and are not allowed to take on or dispose of any property without an adequate level of consultation with the electorate.”

Consultation is in letter or email only – no social media posts or messages – and can be sent to Ellesmere Town Council, 1-3 Willow Street, Ellesmere, Shropshire, SY12 0AL or by email to admin@ellesmere-tc.gov.uk

Or submit comments to boxes held at Ismays, Mere Motors and the Market Hall, all by Friday, April 5 at 12 noon.